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The Ides of June
by Henry Seltzer
 
Saturn transits the White House

This article explores the Saturn transit to the Sun in the United States chart coming up in June 2004 in the context of other outer planet transits to the U.S. chart. The symbolism reveals further problems for the Bush White House at this time. Like the prophetic "Ides of March" from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, mid June spells trouble for this already besieged administration.

There's an important story to be discerned in the transit of Saturn across the Sun of the U.S. chart in this Spring 2004 timeframe. The last pass, 30 years ago, saw the Watergate scandal unfold, culminating in the resignation of a sitting president, along with the American foreign policy black eye represented by the defeat of its plans for Viet Nam. Today the country faces similar challenges, with a questionable war of invasion championed by yet another criminal administration. The transit that is coming up in this 2004 timeframe is exact in the early hours of June 11th on the east coast - the only direct transit to U.S. Sun this time around, although there was a close station last October 25th 2003 that might be regarded as a seeding period for the current crisis in leadership.

The timing of this last transit pass of Saturn across U.S. Sun was quite precise: on August 8th 1974 Saturn contacted U.S. Sun for the first of three times, with the retrograde transit occurring during February 1975. The last pass of Saturn thirty years ago was on April 22nd 1975. Amazingly, August 8th 1974 was the very same day that Richard Nixon resigned his presidency after Watergate, while the last pass took place in the same week as the April 25th 1975 fall of Saigon and the end to the American presence in Viet Nam (see chart).

Thirty Years Ago

The symbolism of the events surrounding this thirty years prior transit period makes sense since Saturn, representing limitations, the lessons of hardship and scarcity, tough sledding, was combining with the Sun in the chart of the United States, representing the national will as summed up by the office of the executive. The chart of the United States is for July 4th, 1776, the date that America as a country was born. There are various charts currently used by astrologers, most notably the chart with Sagittarius rising, the one that I use in this article, a variation of the Sibley chart for 5:10 pm, which seems to agree best with recent transits. This chart was rectified to approximately 5:13 pm by Dane Rudhyar, and published in his 1973 book, "The Astrology of America's Destiny".

USAThe transit of 30 years before that took place in July 1945, shortly after the death in office of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one of America's most beloved 20th century presidents. The July 1945 transit took place just before the first Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a gigantic landmark in the history of United States military power, and indeed warfare in general, while the conjunction before that, in 1915, saw the sinking of the Lusitania, the event that prepared the way for the entrance of the U.S. into WW I. Incidentally, the assassination of another immensely popular president, John F. Kennedy, while not accompanied by the conjunction to U.S. Sun, was accompanied by an inconjunct between Saturn and U.S. Sun, as transiting Saturn trined U.S. Saturn and also aspected the U.S. Midheaven. The Midheaven of the United States chart represents the executive branch of government, including its head, the president. It is interesting that Saturn's natal position in the Midheaven or tenth house of this U.S. chart, and square to U.S. Sun, reinforces the symbolism for the executive office as emblematic of the will of the country. America is a particularly striking example of a political system dominated by a strong executive in a way that many modern Western countries and Japan are not, a fact that Dane Rudhyar noted in his 1973 study.

So what might we expect this time? As Saturn prepares to complete its final pass of this generation on the U.S. Sun degree next June, there are several remarkable similarities to the situation 30 years ago when the Viet Nam war was winding to a bloody close and a scandal plagued White House was trying to hold the line against investigations into its techniques and practices. The symbolism of this transit suggests that the current administration headed by G. W. Bush is in for a tough time this spring and early summer.

The Current Saturn Transit

Let's look back to the time preceding the invasion of Iraq. There was scandal brewing for this White House on at least two fronts during the run-up to the 2002 election. There were questions regarding the Enron collapse and its links with Bush administration energy policy, and as well the issue of pre-9-11 intelligence - what did the White House know and when did they know it - regarding the possibility of a terror attack on the United States using commercial aircraft. Also a book had been recently published in France - see footnote - that stated that in the summer before 9-11 the Taliban were under fire from this energy oriented administration for refusing to grant the rights to American oil giant Unocal for a pipeline through Afghanistan, necessary for access to the very rich oil fields of the Caspian Sea region. In August of 2001, the Taliban were told "you can have a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs" referring to their participation in the project. An attack on Afghanistan was immediately planned for October of 2001, an attack that actually took place with the justification of 9-11, and by mid-2002 the Unocal pipeline project was approved and is now going through. These questions of scandal were effectively side-tracked by the distractions provided by march to war on Iraq that began in September 2002, but one wonders how many times that card can be played. There is likely planned some similar diversion for the coming fall, and the question is whether this time the American people will buy it.

As the time for the last Saturn pass of June 11th draws closer, the administration is being put more and more on the spot regarding both its failed policy in Iraq, and the justification for going to war there when there was no demonstrable linkage to the September 2001 attacks, and as well the failure of pre-9-11 intelligence to prevent the attacks, highlighted by the hearings of the 9-11 commission this spring. The 9-11 commission deadline of July 26th will be rapidly approaching at the time of the June 11th transit (see chart).

Saturn's Retrograde Station of Last Fall

The transit of Saturn across the Sun in the U.S. chart was preceded last October 25th by Saturn's station very nearly at the same degree and minute. It might be instructive to look at the events surfacing at this time.

Although some astrologers, myself among them, believed that some dramatic turn of history might accompany this retrograde station, the fact that Saturn did not actually complete its contact at that time suggests that the dénouement might wait until the final June 11th pass of Saturn over U.S. Sun. An outer planet retrograde transit is felt at a more internal level, and the October 25th period of time might be regarded as a seeding period for what is to come (see chart).

It is interesting to note that what did emerge on the weekend of October 25th was a massive series of protests across the country regarding Bush's war of invasion, and calling for his impeachment for war crimes. If the invasion of Afghanistan was motivated in part by oil company interests, and the invasion of Iraq turns out to be the same, the Bush administration does indeed have a lot to answer for. There was another significant event of October 25th, which has not received much press as yet. On that day the commission into the investigation of intelligence failures leading up to 9-11 declared its intention to seek subpoena power to obtain documents from the Bush White House. Significantly the commission report is due out in July. Perhaps new information will come to light as that time draws near that will help to bring down this arrogant and misguided administration.

The Emperor's New Clothes

Indeed, conditions are ripe for a collapse. One year ago, when this country invaded Iraq, on trumped-up charges as is now generally recognized, the stage was set for disaster. The invasion of a sovereign country in the absence of any real threat or justification is a violation of international law, as most countries of the world recognize. A military quagmire has ensued, eerily reminiscent of Viet Nam. As the war drags on, it is becoming increasingly obvious that American soldiers are dying for a cause that is less and less clear-cut. American GI's stationed in Iraq are also more and more disaffected, with high rates of suicide and psychiatric discharge. Why did we invade? If in order to prevent terrorist attacks or to remove weapons of mass destruction, why are we still there? If to help ourselves to the oil resources that lie under the Iraqi sand, where is the moral justification? The multiple scandals brewing regarding the Bush administration's energy policies and charges of corporate favoritism are likely to return to haunt the current White House as the popularity of these foreign policy agendas begins to tarnish and the reality of the situation on the ground that becomes more gruesomely apparent with each passing day. It is interesting to note that the official date for turning over power to the Iraqi people is scheduled for the end of this coming June, just after the Saturn transit to U.S. Sun culminates.

Meanwhile the administration's spin on the events is beginning to unravel, including the ever-shifting justification for the invasion, and as well the embarrassing premature declaration of victory in May 2003, stage-managed from the sunset view of an American aircraft carrier flight deck. If the true objective were the alleged weapons of mass destruction, the administration is being asked, why did we not let the U.N. inspectors finish their task? As soon as congress gave the green light for a potential invasion, in the fall of 2002, ostensibly with international cooperation, the White House pushed for direct attack rather than allowing the opinion of the U.N. security council, and the rest of the world, including a substantial portion of the U.S. public as well, to make the slightest difference. It is obvious with hindsight that there was a different agenda for this invasion than was publicly stated.

And now as of late March 2004, former administration terrorism expert Richard Clarke's new book "Against All Enemies" amply supports this idea. Then there was the faulty intelligence regarding Iraqi atom bomb programs that had been discredited the preceding April, and which were nevertheless trumpeted as a casus belli in the president's State of the Union message of January 2003, during the rush to war. The facts speak for themselves. The justifications that this war of invasion was clothed in, like the emperor's new garments of the symbolic story, are not really there.

Saturn's Direct Station in March 2004

As Saturn stationed direct this March, on the 7th, ceasing its backwards motion and preparing for the last direct hit on U.S. Sun this coming June, it presented the first indication of what may be to come for the Bush White House as this volatile spring unfolds. Saturn's direct station was very close to U.S. Jupiter, planet of faith and idealism. With Saturn stationing there, we might expect that faith on the part of the public to be somewhat strained by events. On March 24th Pluto also stationed opposite U.S. Mars, representing the military. Indeed March has been a pivotal month for the administration and its war in Iraq. On March 8th, the Iraqi governing council paved the way for the turnover of U.S. control to the Iraqi people, scheduled now for July 1st 2004. Meanwhile the Madrid bombing that took place on March 11th and subsequent pullout of Spanish troops from the occupying forces gave pause to U.S. administration claims that the world was acting in concert with the U.S. in invading Iraq.

The March 19th - 20th anniversary of the start of the war was heralded by demonstrations around the world against the U.S. government. This is the Spring Equinox and Aries New Moon, which opposed the U.S. Midheaven and squared its ruler. In the demonstrations - tens of thousands of people in this country and hundreds of thousands all over the world too to the streets to demonstrate against the U.S. backed war, the largest anti-war demonstration since the previous spring when the war was being planned and massive protests tried to stop the invasion from happening.

Another nail in the administration's coffin has been the disclosures revealed by Richard Clarke in his book, "Against All Enemies." In the book he states that pre-9-11 the Bush White House was interested in only one thing, the invasion of Iraq, and was not only uninterested in Al Quada before 9-11 but was more interested in Iraq as a target than Afghanistan even after the events of September 2001. His detailed report denying any link of 9-11 to Iraq was rejected: "wrong answer." Finally disgusted with administration policy, he resigned in February 2003. His book was published and Clarke testified before the 9-11 commission, and the 60 Minutes interview was conducted, just as Pluto turned retrograde on March 24th opposed to U.S. Mars, symbolizing a new look at U.S. militarism.

The Neptune Factor

Several other types of transits to the U.S. chart support the idea that this spring will be a rocky one for the country in general and the Bush administration in particular. One of the most interesting of these involves transits to U.S. Neptune, placed in the ninth house of the chart. This house is associated with publishing, education, and higher mind, belief systems in general. What does Neptune in this position tell us about the American character? The symbolism of Neptune is two-fold. It can either represent involvement with idealism and a spiritual frame of reference, removed from a so-called real world point of view, or in its negative mode can represent escapism, even outright deception. Certainly all of these factors are part and parcel of the American social setting, especially as regarding ninth house concerns. What immediately leaps to mind is America's fascination with media of all kinds, including the phenomenon of the movie star, a peculiarly American development. There is also a spiritual component to this country's origins, beginning with the concept of freedom from religious persecution, and continuing with the influence of the masons upon the founding fathers, many of whom were members of that spiritual order, as reflected to this day in the Great Seal of the United States and the eye over the pyramid engraved on every dollar bill. Idealism in matters of education is also an American trait. But the shadow side of this Neptune placement is the issue of deception in the country's news media, which has bordered on propaganda in recent years. This tendency of the so-called free press to pander to the military-industrial complex and the corporations is well-documented in Noam Chomsky's seminal work Manufacturing Consent in which he shows how atrocities committed by non-aligned nations are described in the U.S. media with far greater detail than those committed by U.S. allies. This tendency towards propaganda has grown in recent years, especially with the first Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq. During the invasion, journalists were actually "embedded" in the military, and tended to report from the standpoint of the troops rather than taking a less biased and more objective position. Those journalists that did not take the official point of view were sanctioned. There was for example the case of Peter Arnet, a veteran Iraq war correspondent for twelve years, who was fired by NBC after expressing an anti-party line opinion on Iraqi television.

In keeping with this recent predilection for deception in American journalism, we note that Neptune has been forming important aspects to the U.S. chart for the past year, beginning with an inconjunct to U.S. Sun that was active during the time of the invasion and beyond. The last exact hit on this aspect occurs in December of 2004. Coincident with this aspect is a sextile to the Ascendant of the chart, over exactly the same time period, since the Sun in the U.S. chart is aspects the Ascendant of the chart, with transiting Neptune in fact forming a Yod pattern to the Sun and Ascendant, for this entire period. The Yod, or "finger of God" aspect pattern, puts emphasis for trauma and eventual transformation on the focal point of the pattern, U.S. Sun in this case (see chart).

The station of Neptune on May 15th 2003 was exactly in aspect to the U.S. chart Ascendant and Sun, and occurred on the day of the breaking of the news story that most clearly illustrates the concept of deception in Iraqi war journalism, the story of the ‘Saving of Private Lynch." The salient facts of course are that Private Jessica Lynch was not bravely fighting off Iraqi's when captured, but rather she was injured in an auto accident, and that her rescue was staged after Iraqi forces had already withdrawn, by soldiers firing blanks, just like on a movie set, and after the Iraqi hospital where she was being treated had already attempted to return her to the American forces in an ambulance. For more information see footnote. From the May 20th 2003 news story by Robert Scheer, published in the LA Times and on Alternet: "Her story is one of the most stunning pieces of news management ever conceived, the BBC concluded - the polite British way of saying ‘liar, liar, pants on fire'." Indeed there are many other major deceptions: the press complicity already alluded to, the excuses leading up to the war, intended to conceal the real causes for this war of invasion, which are now beginning to emerge. There is also the recent denial of U.S. involvement in the overthrow and kidnapping of President John Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, in spite of eyewitnesses, which takes us up to the present. The administration position: "that didn't happen."

Chiron was also opposed to U.S. Sun and trine U.S. Neptune at the time of the invasion. Chiron symbolizes the Wounded Healer, and the American public's perception of itself, especially with regard to deception on the part of government officials, has indeed been challenged in the course of these recent events.

This year, in the two months leading up to the Saturn transit to U.S. Sun on June 11th Neptune will be trine U.S. Saturn. This is a significant addition to the aspect picture of spring and early summer, since Saturn lies in the tenth house of the U.S chart, symbolizing the executive. We can expect even more information regarding the issue deception to emerge in the four-month period of time leading up to June 11th. At the time of this writing, April 2004, many such events have taken place, most notably the publication of Richard Clarke's book and the notoriety of the hearings of the commission on 9-11, whose results are now due out in July. The commission hearings are likely to take on the flavor of the senate investigation into Watergate in the weeks leading up to the July deadline, hopefully to eventually produce a similar transformation of American consciousness.

The Outing of Agent Valerie Plame

One of the more disturbing incidents surrounding the war in Iraq has been the Valerie Plame incident. She is or was a CIA operative engaged in important work for which she remained undercover for many years until her identity was leaked to the press in July 2003, compromising her and the people she worked with, as well as her clandestine contacts and her company's cover as a normal business. Announcing the name of a secret agent is a felony. The genesis of this flagrantly illegal and destructive act that appears to spring from the Bush White House is that her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, had posted strong criticisms of the Bush administration after his efforts to clarify the now-famous Iraq-Uranium-Africa link were ignored, a mission he undertook in February 2002 at the request of the CIA. Although this expert on African affairs dismissed the Iraq connection as a fabrication after he had met extensively with both government and non-government officials in Niger, Bush in his January 2003 state of the Union message went ahead and referenced the Uranium Iraq connection. When former Ambassador Wilson openly criticized the Bush administration on July 6th 2003 for cynically using discredited information to fan the flames of war, his wife's identity was subsequently leaked to the media and published in the July 14th column of conservative commentator Robert Novak. The leak is directly attributable to the White House, with several journalists being contacted by a "highly placed administration official," thereby endangering Plame's life as well as her mission. Her mission was ironically to attempt to limit the spread of WMD in the world.

The transits to the United States chart around this incident point to transiting and natal Chiron as a factor in the symbolism. To be specific, on January 28th 2003, the date of Bush's state of the union message during the run-up to war that contained the famous "sixteen words" regarding Iraq, yellowcake Uranium and the country of Niger, Chiron was exactly opposed to U.S. Sun, and conjuncted by the Moon that night (see chart). Transiting Saturn was also square U.S. Neptune that day, bringing the element of deception in again. On July 6th 2003, when Wilson made his critical remarks, U.S. Chiron was being aspected by transiting Jupiter and Venus, while transiting Chiron squared U.S. Saturn. The square was exact on July 14th when Novak published his column (see chart). Then, in September and October 2003 when the disclosure of Plame's identity became national news, Chiron was again within a degree of opposing U.S. Sun, in the process of making its last pass on that opposition.

How does the symbolism of Chiron fit the Valerie Plame incident? Chiron is known as the Wounded Healer and in natal charts reflects where we are wounded and the archetype of despair in complete self-acceptance, in coming to terms with our all too human nature. It is a wound to the nation's national pride in self that the upholders of the law in the executive branch are the very ones that are breaking the law.

Their purported search for WMD in order to defend American lives turns out to be detrimental to the real search for WMD in the world, thereby endangering American lives. This story has a poignancy that reveals the core of inner cruelty and lack of judgment on the part of this administration, and that may eventually help to bring it down. The story has been referred to in some media accounts as similar to Watergate, in that a simple and stupid action upon closer examination is shown to be the tip of a larger iceberg of criminal misconduct in high places. If this incident is fully examined in all its implications it does indeed constitute a grim indictment of this blackened White House with so much blood on its hands.

The Uranus Factor - Surprising Enlightenment

One reason that the Saturn transit to U.S. Sun of August 8th, 1974 was so precise in its timing was the factor of Uranus in the transits to the U.S. chart at the time. Transiting Uranus was exactly square U.S. Mercury when Richard Nixon resigned, representing national communication, and interestingly, Chiron was also square U.S. Mercury, conjuncted by transiting Moon later that night. The transiting Moon also was semi-square to U.S. Uranus. In fact, 8 planets including transiting Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all aspected U.S. Uranus on that date (see chart).

Incidentally, at the time of the 9-11 attacks, transiting Uranus was conjunct and parallel U.S. Moon representing the public, trine U.S. Mars, inconjunct U.S. Neptune, and sextile U.S. Chiron. The force of surprise was of course very evident in these events, and as well the potential for a new way of seeing the United States role in world politics, as an active participant rather than a distant observer of mid-east tensions.

When we look ahead to the June 11th transit of Saturn to U.S. Sun, we find that Uranus stations retrograde the preceding day, June 10th, in square to its natal position in the U.S. chart. U.S. Uranus is also being squared by transiting Jupiter, opposite transiting Uranus, and aspected by the Moon at this time. This are therefore significant timing factors in the transits to the U.S. chart for June 10th and 11th. Uranus represents surprising enlightenment, and we may expect unusual and startling events to transpire at this time that powerfully affect the national psyche. The underlying purpose of these events will be to shock the minds of Americans into a new and different perspective, another way of looking at the day, rather than business as usual.

There are other significant timing transits in effect on June 11, 2004. The Sun is exactly on U.S. Mars that day, while transiting Mars conjunct U.S. Mercury, and transiting Mercury is very close to the descendant of the U.S chart, as is transiting Venus. The Mercury/Venus midpoint is almost exactly on the U.S. Descendant (see chart).

We can expect some startling developments at the time of the June 11 Saturn transit, possibly involving the continuing deteriorating situation in Iraq, possibly involving the revelation of further scandal in the Bush White House. My own belief is that by the time of the Republican convention this one-term president will not even be able to run for office as his party's candidate.

The Venus Factor

A number of other important transits line up with the June 11th final Saturn conjunction with U.S. Sun. One is the so-called "Transit of Venus" which takes place once every 1 1/2 years or so ( 584 days) when Venus moves across the face of the Sun and disappears from the evening sky, to eventually reappear as the Morning Star. This period of time, which takes place this year from June 4th to 12th, is given great significance in Mayan astrology, being known symbolically as Venus' journey through the underworld, since she vanishes and reemerges as a different bright star. The Mayans thought that when Venus first reappeared her mouth was covered with blood and bits of bone. It was thought to be a time of lawlessness and change in earthly affairs. Bruce Scofield, an expert on Mayan astrology, has correlated news events with the inferior conjunction of Venus and subsequent Heliacal Rise When Venus first appears as the Morning Star the event is known as her. characterizes this event as "the downfall of leaders, plane crashes and embarrassing situations is high places" and comments that the June 17 1972 inferior conjunction coincided with the Watergate burglary while the January 16, 1998 event was the time of Kenneth Starr's accusation of illicit sex in the White House, and gives other examples as well - see footnote. It is fascinating that this year's Heliacal Rise of Venus is simultaneous to the June 11th transit of Saturn across the Sun in the chart of the United States. The symbolism of both events is the embarrassment of the ruler, trouble for the White House. It is interesting to note that this year's inferior conjunction takes place at 17 Gemini, close to the Descendant of the U.S chart, and also to U.S. Mars, which are located at 13 + of Gemini and 21 + of Gemini respectively. The symbolism of the Descendant and the seventh house that that is where we meet the rest of the world, in other words, foreign policy. The twin towers of the Trade Center that was the target of the 9-11 attacks is a Gemini-like symbol of United States financial dominance in this area, and Mars in the seventh house represents the use of the military in enforcing that dominance. Venus and Jupiter, as well as the Sun, are located in the U.S. seventh house as well, making a more complicated picture, and emphasizing the importance of foreign trade of all kinds in the country's experience, including the generosity of American foreign aid. With the Transit of Venus across the Sun taking place in this location in the chart, the area of foreign policy is emphasized. In contrast, the January 16, 1998 event was conjunct U.S. Pluto, symbolizing dark and hidden factors of the American experience, in this case, illicit sex. If there is to be an embarrassment at this time it stands to reason it would be in the area of U.S. foreign policy and military muscle.

The Pluto Factor

The current transits to the chart of the United States include Pluto's opposition to U.S. Mars, within half of a degree on June 11th, and its square to U.S. Neptune, as described above. The past three years of Pluto transits to the United States chart have in fact been very powerful, beginning with the Pluto-Saturn opposition, with transiting Pluto and transiting Saturn lining up across the sky from each other, across the Ascendant - Descendant axis of the U.S. chart, and strongly aspecting U.S. Saturn. The opposition was exact in August and November 2001, with the U.S. Ascendant at the approximate midpoint of the degrees Pluto and Saturn occupied in September (see chart).

This opposition had been discussed in great detail both before and after the events of September 11th (see the August 2001 Mountain Astrologer, Robert Hand, and my article on The Terrorist Attacks of September 2001).

As Pluto and Saturn opposed each other across the Ascendant - Descendant axis of the U.S. chart, Pluto begins to cross the Ascendant of this national chart for the first time. What does it mean for Pluto to cross the Ascendant of the chart of an entity? For mortal individuals, it only happens once in a lifetime, if at all, since Pluto takes 240 years to go around the zodiac. When this transit takes place it implies a massive transformation in the way we are in the world, in the way we appear to others, in our soul purpose. We may also have to deal with compulsive behavior, perhaps even a compulsion to power and violence, which may also of course manifest as violence toward ourselves as well. All these psychological factors that are characteristic of Pluto conjunct the Ascendant may be extended to the American national character in these last few years.

The spiritual meaning of these types of compulsions emerging to the surface is to uncover dark factors in the nation's character that have been hidden in the past, and that need to be acknowledged for growth in self-awareness and eventual healing. The domination by this country of other nations in the world is not a new thing. But maybe this is our last best chance to really see it for what it is and move beyond it. This domination must in the final analysis be fear-based, I believe. The emotions of the American people have been manipulated into the attack on another sovereign power, but let us not forget that the emotions are there to begin with. Many American soldiers carried a picture of the burning towers with them into battle.

Pluto therefore symbolizes a profound transformation in the consciousness of the country that began with September 2001 and is still going on today. Before a new structure can be created on an existing site the old structure must be swept away, just as a snake sheds its skin as part of a necessary transformation for the growth of the organism. This is natural law. The Unites States must metaphorically shed its old patterns in order to change and grow as a nation-culture. What are these factors that need to transform and shift in this epoch making time?

There has been an isolationism in U.S. foreign policy and a tendency to use other societies for our own benefit. And among the people of this country there has been a tendency to bury their head in the sand rather than face these grim realities. The U.S. media is complicit of course, but so is the U.S. population. There has always been a tendency in this country toward waste and excess. The original westward expansion at its core was an exploitation of the resources of the vast countryside, also at the expense of Native American peoples, the original inhabitants of the land. This is the past and cannot be changed, but what can change is the consciousness around what was done, and how we as a country move forward.

An interesting exercise is to imagine a different Iraq than the one that we invaded. What if Iraq was a European power, with Germanic people, suffering under a brutal dictator (a dictator created by the United States, by the way). Would we so carelessly invade and kill in that case?

The racism and xenophobia underlying this war of occupation for mid-East oil, is certainly one of the dark secrets that must come to the surface of public awareness in this Plutonian era, in order that it be acknowledged and dealt with in some fashion. What is not acknowledged becomes toxic and lashes out, which is the story of the terrorist agenda and also of the American impulse toward vengeance. Who in all this is the real terrorist we may ask.

Pluto symbolizes the death of the old and the re-birth of the new. In order for the re-birth to take place, the old structure must be destroyed. Thus the violence and destruction associated with Pluto. But when we are in chaos we must recognize that the light of a new dawn lies in wait for us, beyond the chaos. Do not dwell in the chaos. Await the birth.

 

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NOTES

Note 1

Some months ago, (in early 2002) a book was published in France entitled "Osama bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth." The authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasique, described a connection between the September 11th terrorist attacks and a stalled plan to build a pipeline to exploit the vast natural gas fields along the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. Their story pointed damning fingers at American petroleum companies and the Bush administration, citing instances where U.S. anti-terrorism efforts were thwarted in order to smooth the way for the pipeline deal - William Rivers Pitt - Sentient Times - http://www.sentienttimes.com/02/june_july/HellT.html

Note 2

Original Washing Post article on April 3rd 2003

Article published in the Guardian May 15th, 2003

From the Article appearing on AlterNet May 20th 2003

Since this column's publication in the Los Angeles Times and on AlterNet on Tuesday, controversy has erupted over its subject matter, with right-wing Fox News talk-show host Bill O'Reilly complaining Scheer and the BBC are "anti-American" and not to be believed. CNN also interviewed the BBC correspondent who reported the story over the weekend, which itself echoed earlier investigative articles in the Washington Post and the Toronto Star.

In the 1998 film "Wag the Dog," political operatives employ special editing techniques to create phony footage that will engender public sympathy for a manufactured war. Now we find that in 2003 the real-life Pentagon's ability and willingness to manipulate the facts make Hollywood's story lines look tame.

After a thorough investigation, the British Broadcasting Corp. has presented a shocking dissection of the "heroic" rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch, as reported by the U.S. military and a breathless American press.

Though the Bush administration's shamelessly trumped-up claims about Iraq's alleged ties to Al Qaeda and 9/11 and its weapons of mass destruction take the cake for deceitful propaganda - grand strategic lies that allow the United States' seizure of Iraq's oil to appear to be an act of liberation - the sad case of Lynch's exploitation at the hands of military spinners illustrates that the truth once again was a casualty of war.

Lynch, who says she has no memory of the events in question, has suffered enough in the line of duty without being reduced to a propaganda pawn.

Sadly, almost nothing fed to reporters about either Lynch's original capture by Iraqi forces or her "rescue" by U.S. forces turns out to be true. Consider the April 3 Washington Post story on her capture headlined "She Was Fighting to the Death," which reported, based on unnamed military sources, that Lynch "continued firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple gunshot wounds," adding that she was also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in.

It has since emerged that Lynch was neither shot nor stabbed, but rather suffered accident injuries when her vehicle overturned. A medical checkup by U.S. doctors confirmed the account of the Iraqi doctors, who said they had carefully tended her injuries, a broken arm and thigh and a dislocated ankle, in contrast to U.S. media reports that doctors had ignored Lynch.

Note 3

For Bruce Scofield's article, see the Mountain Astrologer for December 2000, Mercury Direct section:
Mercury Direct: Sex and the Plumed Serpent: Mesoamerican Venus Cycles MYTH & STORY 12/00


sun astrology The Sun

The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.

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moon astrology The Moon

The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.

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mercury astrology Mercury

Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.

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venus astrology Venus

Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.

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mars astrology Mars

Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.

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jupiter astrology Jupiter

Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.

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saturn astrology Saturn

Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.

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uranus astrology Uranus

Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.

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neptune astrology Neptune

Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.

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pluto astrology Pluto

Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.

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chiron astrology Chiron

Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.

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ceres astrology Ceres

As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.

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pallas astrology Pallas

The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.

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juno astrology Juno

The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.

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vesta astrology Vesta

In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.

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eris astrology Eris

While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.

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part of fortune astrology Part of Fortune

The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.

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north node astrology The North Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.

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south node astrology The South Node

The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also known as the dragon's tail, the South Node indicates areas of mastery, often from a previous lifetime.

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aries astrology Aries

Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.

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taurus astrology Taurus

Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.

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gemini astrology Gemini

Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.

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cancer astrology Cancer

Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.

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leo astrology Leo

Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.

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virgo astrology Virgo

Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.

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libra astrology Libra

Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.

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scorpio astrology Scorpio

Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.

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sagittarius astrology Sagittarius

Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.

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capricorn astrology Capricorn

Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.

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aquarius astrology Aquarius

Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.

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pisces astrology Pisces

Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.

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